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Risk Attitude, Beliefs Updating and the Information Content of Trades: An Experiment

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  • Bisière, Christophe
  • Décamps, Jean-Paul
  • Lovo, Stefano

Abstract

We conduct a series of experiments that simulate trading in financial markets and which allows us to identify the different effects that subjects’ risk attitudes and belief updating rules have on the information content of the order flow. We find that there are very few risk-neutral subjects and that subjects displaying risk aversion or risk-loving tend to ignore private information when their prior beliefs on the asset fundamentals are strong. Consequently, private information struggles penetrating trading prices. We find evidence of non-Bayesian belief updating (confirmation bias and under-confidence). This reduces (improves) market efficiency when subjects’ prior beliefs are weak (strong).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-036.

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Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision: May 2012
Publication status: Published in Management Science.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:21946

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  1. Drehmann, Mathias & Oechssler, Joerg & Roider, Andreas, 2003. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets: An Internet Experiment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6zf5469f, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1992. " Time and the Process of Security Price Adjustment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 576-605, June.
  3. Jean-Paul Decamps & Stefano Lovo, 2006. "A note on risk aversion and herd behavior in financial markets," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(1), pages 35-42, July.
  4. Williams, Arlington W., 2008. "Price Bubbles in Large Financial Asset Markets," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  5. Steffen Huck & Joerg Oechssler, 1999. "Informational cascades in the laboratory: Do they occur for the right reasons?," Experimental 9901001, EconWPA.
  6. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-48, September.
  7. Marco Cipriani & Antonio Guarino, 2005. "Herd Behavior in a Laboratory Financial Market," Experimental 0502002, EconWPA.
  8. Bogaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv, 2004. "Distinguishing Informational Cascades from Herd Behavior in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 484-498, June.
  9. David Hirshleifer & Siew Hong Teoh, 2003. "Herd Behaviour and Cascading in Capital Markets: a Review and Synthesis," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(1), pages 25-66.
  10. Dorothea K¸bler & Georg Weizs”cker, 2004. "Limited Depth of Reasoning and Failure of Cascade Formation in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 425-441, 04.
  11. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
  12. Decamps, Jean-Paul & Lovo, Stefano, 2006. "Informational cascades with endogenous prices: The role of risk aversion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-120, February.
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